Philadelphia delegation headed to Vatican to sell Pope on Philly visit

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 Archbishop Chaput, Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett announce a delegation to visit the Vatican regarding the Eighth World Meeting of Families Friday morning. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Archbishop Chaput, Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett announce a delegation to visit the Vatican regarding the Eighth World Meeting of Families Friday morning. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

 A special international road trip is in the works for some local religious and civic leaders.

Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput, Mayor Michael Nutter and Gov. Tom Corbett will be part of the delegation traveling to the Vatican later this month to persuade Pope Francis to come to Philadelphia next year for the World Meeting of Families.

Archbishop Chaput feels confident that the Pontiff will come to Philly for the meeting, which would be his first trip as Pope to North America.

“To have the governor of the state and the mayor of the city and extraordinary leaders of the community go there for this visit is our attempt to show him the enthusiasm that we have in Philadelphia,” Chaput said. “I have great confidence that he will come. I don’t think he will announce a decision until he’s ready to do that and that could be several months before that happens.”

Mayor Nutter, who went to high school at St. Joe’s Prep says you don’t really “lobby” a Pope.

“It’s only in Philadelphia that people talk about sealing deals with the Pope, it’s just amazing to me,” Nutter said. 

If the Pope does come it will significantly increase security costs and attendance for the event.

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